“Oh hey, are you hiring?”

Everybody wants to hire an artist from a reputed design school with a loaded portfolio to work in a low-paying job where their norm of a brief is thinking out of the box but staying within the guidelines.

Most of the Ad gurus who attend, lecture and judge projects of such designers, award the most hard-hitting concepts. Will those concepts survive in the real world? Forget the client, will an agency approve of it internally? Not likely.

Hire a creative writer for his creativity and tell him his headline is too smart. Ask them to use 5 buzzwords from the brief and create a 3-word headline. “Their job is so easy, they take hours and just write anything while we have to listen to the client’s abuses.” Says an account executive who deep-down always wished to be a writer.

The design needs to be a minimal, unique snowflake of art. But in 15 minutes. Oh, and the client wants it in yellow. But not too yellow. Just yellow enough.

Hire for potential, ignore it, crush it if needed to fit the company’s belief of creative. One should create things to make the client happy, but also fight for the creative internally because the company sells ‘out of the box’ thinking right out the box. Oh yeah and fit in the brand’s needs somewhere. Hire for potential can only be showcased if it can be charged for additionally. And no, you won’t get a cut from that, you’ve sold your soul, remember?

Good managers need to be creative. Creative folk need to be good managers.

Everybody should be unique yet replaceable.

A clueless resource can be trained on the job but the client shouldn’t find out it’s at their expense.

“This is your account. Your baby. You are the sole/soul of this brand. It depends on you and you only. But the client should know it’s a team-effort because we bill them for 8 dedicated employees.”

You also need to multi-task, make people feel good about themselves while still shining out with your potential. “We expect more from you.”

Go pitching for a freelance gig, hear a “we want you to work full-time on this.” A sentiment slowly transitioning into, “we want you to give an interview for a full-time position”. You’re confused if you want the project or the job, because deep-down you only want the money. “We really like your ideas. But we can’t afford you at the moment. We’ll (pretend to) get back to you. Call me before you say yes to any other company?” You walk out of the building confused. “But what about that project?”

Meet friends from different yet similar environments who fake job satisfaction themselves and tell you to approach the business like they do. They often ask you to join them to take the world by storm, “Together we can!” If you join them, you walk into their mess with the sole responsibility of cleaning it up. If you bail, you lose a friendship. It’s not their fault, they are going through what you’re going through.

Pro-tip: Never follow through on a drunk job description.

You change the topic to get out of the spot. “How’s your <love interest> doing?”

As you move forward in your journey, make new friends from the same industry, hear them complain about the things you complain about. “Every day when I come back home I think to myself, what am I doing with my life?” Unleash small-talk to kill the tension “Virat kya form mein hai bro” *sighs*

The scene fades out as the waiter leaves a bowl of peanuts on the table, leading both parties to stare at it and mentally exclaim *Oh, my salary!*

Offer to pay the bulk of the bill at the end of the night, secretly hoping that no one lets you.

~SDR

The piece above is a culmination of conversations and observations of friends, colleagues and myself… but I still take credit for it since I wrote this down. You probably know how that feels if you could relate to this article.

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